kids in the kitchen garden

October 4, 2011

family life

For a few years now, public schools have been getting the students involved in planting vegie gardens. It’s part of a move to make city and suburban kids realise where food comes from and appreciate the goodness of fresh food.

On the last day of the school term (just over a week ago), the younger children at my boy’s school enjoyed a feast from the school’s kitchen garden. The teachers cooked up a storm using the produce from the kitchen garden. They had roasted beetroot, pesto and pasta, salads galore, garlic and herb bread, and dips. What a treat! The kids loved it.

The older children had an international food festival. They were required to prepare food from another country and bring it in to share. My eldest son had done a project on Spain, and chose to make Spanish potato dip. Where did he get that from? There is only one decent recipe on the internet and it contains sprouted soy and some of the instructions appear to be in Spanglish. What does “molten” mean?

One day before the event we didn’t have time to sprout any soybeans, so I replaced them with a can of chickpeas (unsprouted). I also put only one-third of the garlic in. I am proud to say that the parsley and oregano came from our own home kitchen garden. The dip was delicious! It made a LOT of dip, so next time I will cut the recipe at least in half. I also think it would be really satisfying not blended but served as a salad. Fresh and wholesome!

Continuing with the kitchen garden theme, we attended a free workshop today conducted by one of the local councils (not our council but the one next to us). The workshop went for one hour, and had the children potting seedlings to start their own kitchen garden. The facilitators showed the children how to sprout seeds and then got the children involved in cooking an omelette with lots of yummy sprouts in it. They talked about composting and worm farms. The facilitator, Teresa Rutherford, said she grows 18 kilos of sprouts per week, and she had about twelve varieties for the children to taste. To top it all off , the organisers had prepared salad sandwiches packed with sprouts for the children to take home for lunch, and in a container that they can use to put their sandwiches in for their school lunch. They also gave each child their own kit for sprouting seeds. The kids got very excited about making their own sprouts. The workshop was a brilliant community activity.

The workshop was part of the council’s “Love Food, Hate Waste” campaign . The website has some great resources.

After ten years in the academic labyrinth, I’m now returning to the garden. I’m starting small and slow, and mostly growing herbs and salad vegetables in pots, in little nooks and crannies, and protected from our marauding mutts. As a kid I loved gardening. I was tending a large vegetable garden by myself by the age of eight. I grew all of the vegetables that were eaten at home. Unfortunately only one of my sons has the gardening gene, the youngest one. He’s also the only one that doesn’t eat vegetables! But he loves planting and seeing how plants grow, and he is in love with flowers.


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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

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14 Comments on “kids in the kitchen garden”

  1. ElizOF Says:

    Your school did a great job getting the kids involved and interested in gardening and eating healthy. Bravo!


  2. Santo D'Agostino Says:

    Bravo, hakea!

    We are in autumn here in the northern hemisphere, but your post has reminded me that I would like to do more food growing next spring. Thanks!


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Santo

      Good to see you!

      Yes, spring is sprung, and it is uplifting. I’m enjoying pottering about and tending the plants, it’s a good distraction. And it’s a lovely thing to share with my youngest son.

      I got up this morning to see that the youngest marauding mutt has got into some of the seedlings we brought home from the workshop. Grrrr! The boys are going to be upset with her.


  3. Team Oyeniyi Says:

    Our primary school is involved in a greening program and setting up gardens, I am not sure if that is going to involve vegetables or not, but I believe it is. I think it is a good idea.

    My kids have difficulty understanding the concept of seasonality – in Nigeria whatever grows, grows all year round!


  4. countingducks Says:

    This is a great project. Its always good to get kids involved in things like this


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Peter

      The kids have been doing their spring planting in the school garden and looking forward to a bumper crop of tomatoes, snow peas, cucumber, and strawberries.


  5. Yulia Says:

    Wow… Narelle, That’s good to teach children about healthy food and gardening. My son’s had it in his school once. Hope there will be more 🙂



  6. InsideJourneys Says:

    I wish more schools would do that. It’s such a good idea for children to be aware of where their foods come from. Super post, Narelle!


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Marcia

      A newsletter came home a while ago listing the menu for their feast at school
      – green salad with lettuce, beetroot leaves, radish, parsley & chives
      – pear, parmesan & rocket salad with honey vinaigrette
      – roasted baby beetroot with sweet balsamic dressing
      – farfalle pasta with coriander pesto
      – fresh baguettes with herb butter



  1. kids in the kitchen garden | hakea | School Kitchen Gardens | - October 6, 2011

    […] kids in the kitchen garden | hakea On the last day of the school term (just over a week ago), the younger children at my boy's school enjoyed a feast from the school's kitchen garden. The teachers cooked up a storm using the produce from the kitchen garden. Source: […]

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